Densho eNews - September

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

On December 21, 2006, President Bush signed into law a bill that authorizes up to $38 million for the preservation and interpretation of confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. The National Park Service will administer the grants for this purpose. Over the next two months, they will hold workshops to solicit the publicís participation in developing criteria for allocating the funds. I will attend the West Coast workshops to encourage people to become involved in the planning. For more information about these workshops see below, "Outreach Meetings for Preservation of World War II Camps."

Although the legislation has passed, Congress still needs to appropriate funds for this program. Strong attendance and participation at the National Park Service workshops will help with the funding process. I hope to see you at one of the community workshops.

From the Archive

Freeing Testimonies: The Redress Hearings

"I am very happy that the government of America is looking into the past. I think it takes a great country to admit its mistakes and make proper restitution."
   --Masao Takahashi

In retrospect, the success of the Japanese American redress movement seems like a historical inevitability. In reality, the struggle for justice stretched over two decades and was anything but assured. Just as the mass removal and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans without charge or trial was itself not inevitable, the government's acknowledgment of the mass injustice and awarding of monetary compensation were far from automatic. President Reagan's signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 completed the quest for public recognition of the wrongs suffered by lawful Japanese immigrants and their citizen children in the 1940s. This hard-fought legislation led to a presidential apology, payment of $20,000 to each survivor of the incarceration camps, and funds for public education programs about the mass violation of constitutional rights. Original documents recently entered in the Densho Digital Archive indicate the critical role played by Seattle activists in bringing about a modicum of justice for countless tragic losses.

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Densho News

Participate in the Popular Sushi & Sake Fest

Purchase your tickets for the sixth annual Sushi & Sake Fest before September 30 to receive the early-bird rate of $75. As of October, the price will be $90. Come enjoy delicious sushi prepared by renowned chefs, sample premium Japanese sake and beer, win an exceptional auction item, and share in the general festivities. Proceeds from this popular event support Densho's innovative education and preservation efforts. The event takes place Tuesday, October 30, at the Westin Hotel. We look forward to see you there!

>> Get updated event information
>> Purchase tickets online

Community Events

Book-It Repertory Theatre Presents Snow Falling on Cedars

Book-It Repertory Theatre presents the world premiere production of Snow Falling on Cedars, a gripping story of murder, forbidden love, and atonement by David Guterson. Set in Washington's San Juan Islands in 1954, a Japanese American fisherman is accused of murder. As the trial unfolds, it brings to light not only one man's guilt or innocence but the dark secrets of a community that looked away when their neighbors were sent into exile. Adapted and directed by Kevin McKeon, Snow Falling on Cedars runs from September 21 to October 14 at the Center House Theatre. Tickets start at $15. Pay-what-you-will previews are Tuesday and Wednesday, September 18 and 19; preview September 20, $18 (limited availability).

>> For more information

Outreach Meetings for Preservation of World War II Camps

In September and October, Densho is helping to facilitate community outreach meetings called by the National Park Service in the Pacific West Region to assist in the implementation of Public Law 109-441: Preservation of Japanese American Confinement Sites. For times and locations of the meetings in the Pacific Northwest, California, and Hawaii, see Take this opportunity to share your thoughts about how federal grants should be allocated to protect, interpret, and honor the former incarceration camps for the education of future generations.

>> For more information

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